England captain Eoin Morgan triumphantly declared his side had “made Australia pay” after a thumping eight-wicket win in yesterday’s Cricket World Cup semi-final.

England swaggered into their first World Cup final in 27 years, blowing away rivals Australia by eight wickets in a magnificent display of attacking cricket that sets up a winner-takes-all date with New Zealand at Lord's.

The three-times runners-up are now firm favourites to land the trophy for the first time on Sunday, having thrashed the Black Caps by 119 runs in the group stage, and head to the home of cricket on the back of a sensational performance at Edgbaston.

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And Morgan was delighted with how his side had turned their screw when their fierce rivals had found themselves on the ropes.

Morgan said: “I am absolutely delighted. I would like to thank the fans today - we've had unbelievable support and Edgbaston has always been very kind to us.

“Having beaten India in the group stages here we would've come here with similar confidence. The way we have taken momentum from the last two group games into the semi-finals is very important.

“We set the tone early and when we got on top we made Australia pay.”

Morgan also admitted that Sunday’s final was a “huge opportunity” for his side to go down in English cricketing folklore.

“This final is a huge opportunity for us,” he added. “Looking back to where we were in 2015 compared to now it's such a dramatic improvement and everyone in the dressing room deserves a huge amount of credit. Making the most of it would be brilliant but getting to the final alone is awesome.”

Joe Root meanwhile paid tribute to England’s “amazing” performance.

“It's very special,” he said. “From ball two we were outstanding. The way we applied pressure, asked good questions, it makes it very difficult to come back.

“The partnership between Smith and Carey was good, but the way we fought back to get back on top was really pleasing.”

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